LOS ANGELES (TCD) — Los Angeles County detectives reportedly arrested a man in connection with the shooting death of a 69-year-old Catholic bishop who was killed over the weekend.
On Saturday, Feb. 18, at just before 1 p.m., Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide detectives were called to the 1500 block of Janlu Avenue in the city’s Hacienda Heights neighborhood for report of a shooting death. The Sheriff’s Department said the victim was declared dead at the scene.
On Monday, Feb. 20, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna spoke at a press conference announcing an arrest in connection with Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell’s death. According to Luna, O’Connell was found suffering from “at least one gunshot wound to the upper body” in the bedroom of his home.
Luna said there were no signs of forced entry in the home.
Surveillance footage showed a dark-colored compact SUV entering the driveway and staying for several minutes.
On Sunday, Feb. 19, a tipster reported a 65-year-old man named Carlos Medina was “acting strange, irrational, and made comments about the bishop owing him money.”
Medina’s wife reportedly worked as O’Connell’s housekeeper, and Medina had also done work around the house.
Detectives issued a warrant for Medina’s arrest and to search his home in Torrance. Medina reportedly left Los Angeles County Sunday, then returned to his home at around 2 a.m. Monday. Officials went to Medina’s residence, but he wouldn’t exit the home. Medina eventually surrendered to law enforcement at around 8:15 a.m. and was arrested.
Detectives executed the search warrant at his house and found two firearms as well as “other evidence possibly linking him to the crime.”
The Archbishop of Los Angeles, José Gomez, said in a statement O’Connell’s death was a “shock” and he had “no words to express my sadness.”
Gomez wrote, “As a priest and later a bishop here in Los Angeles for forty-five years, Bishop Dave was a man of deep prayer who had a great love for Our Blessed Mother. He was a peacemaker with a heart for the poor and the immigrant, and he had a passion for building a community where the sanctity and dignity of every human life was honored and protected.”
According to Angelus News, O’Connell grew up in Ireland, but spent the last several decades in Los Angeles working primarily in the inner city.